Fellow Junior Position in Learning methods for adaptive control of non-invasive prostheses - [ Fellow ]

Workplace: IIT@Polimi
Added on: 28/07/2017 - Expires on: 15/08/2017

Bilateral and monolateral hand amputees suffer strong functional deficits due to their impairment. Surface

Electromyography (sEMG) currently gives some control capabilities but these are limited, often not natural and usually require long training times. The application of modern machine learning techniques to analyze sEMG activity related to natural movements seems promising but it is far from practice due to two main aspects: first, the effects of the amputation on the nervous system of the subjects are not fully clear; second, there is a strong lack of accuracy in movement classification and a few wrong movements can have important negative effects.

The goal of our research is to strongly improve robotic prosthesis control possibilities by hand amputated subjects. We will develop a coherent framework of learning algorithms able to significantly advance the state of the art in sEMG controlled prostheses in terms of control, stability and dexterity. The prosthesis controllers will be enriched by autonomous decision making that will operate through the analysis of multimodal data, such as sEMG, accelerometry, vision, haptics and so forth. Algorithms and approaches will be machine learning based, exploring deep learning as well as statistical learning techniques within integrated systems. A special focus will be on adaptive learning algorithms, i.e. algorithms able to leverage over prior information, acquired by other users or across modalities, in order to increase stability and shorten significantly the time needed by amputees for learning how to control and interact with the device.

The candidate should have a strong technical and theoretical background, with a M. Sc. in Computer science, Physics, Electrical and/or biomedical engineer or similar, and a record of research on machine learning applied to sEMG signals or similar.

Prior experience in learning methods applied to prostheses control, documented by a publication record in the field, will be a plus.

The successful candidate will work starting from October 2017 in the newly established Visual and Multimodal Applied Learning Laboratory (VANDAL), led by Prof. Caputo, in Milan, with high end computing and robotics facilities.

Application procedure (deadline is August 15, 2017): please submit your applications, including a detailed curriculum vitae, 2 representative publications and 1 page of research statement in PDF format to applications@iit.it quoting “Fellow position CB 74244” in the subject line.

Please note that this position is pending transfer FNSNF budget to IIT (FNSNF Fonds National Suisse de la Recherche Scientifique - MeganePro - Décision CRSII2_160837/1).

IIT was established in 2003 and successfully created the large scale infrastructure in Genova, a network of 10 state of the art laboratories countrywide, recruited an international staff of about 1100 people from more than 50 countries. IIT's research endeavour focuses on high-tech and innovation, representing the forefront of technology with possible application from medicine to industry, computer science, robotics, life sciences and nanobiotechnologies.

In order to comply with the Italian law (art. 23 of Privacy Law of the Italian Legislative Decree n. 196/03), we have to kindly ask the candidate to give his/her consent to allow IIT to process his/her personal data.

We inform you that the information you provide will be used solely for the purpose of assessing your professional profile to meet the requirements of Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia.

Your data will be processed by Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, with headquarters in Genoa, Via Morego 30, acting as the Data Holder, using computer and paper based means, observing the rules on protection of personal data, including those relating to the security of data. Please also note that, pursuant to art.7 of Legislative Decree 196/2003, you may exercise your rights at any time as a party concerned by contacting the Data Manager.”

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia is an Equal Opportunity Employer that actively seeks diversity in the workforce.

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L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.